Rhapsody Of Fire

Epic Fest - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It’s hard to say whether Rhapsody Of Fire or Dream Evil was to be considered the headliner of the last day at Epic Fest in Gimle. Safe to say, they’re both large, worthy names of the title, and they were playing right next to each other in the schedule.
Rhapsody Of Fire were first out, and despite the 30 minute delay to their show, they were ready to battle for victory as they finally stepped on stage.

“You have one job tonight! Raise your hands in the air and say hey, hey, hey!”
- Giacomo Voli (vocals)

Fitting to the festival, the show actually opened with a highly epic intro. It was a snippet of Tales Of A Hero’s Fate, the Christopher Lee spoken part from about eight minutes in and until the song ends with choirs and a symphony orchestra. That’s the way to do it, lads!
As you can see here at the site, it’s been a hot minute since the last time we saw Rhapsody Of Fire, and A LOT has happened with the Italian power metal outfit since then! Except for founding member Alessandro ‘Alex’ Staropoli, every single position in the band had changed members, some of them several times. Thus the current gang looked like this; Giacomo Voli (vocals), Roberto De Micheli (guitar), Alessandro Sala (bass), and Paolo Marchesich (drums). There’s also been several different branches of bands stemming from the Rhapsody trunk, but as far as I can tell, we are currently working with these guys and Turilli / Lione Rhapsody, which consists solely of former Rhapsody/Rhapsody Of Fire members (in fact, pretty much everyone we saw as Rhapsody Of Fire the last time we saw them).

To be fair, the majority of the songs played were from the last two albums, i.e. the two albums which feature Voli as the vocalist (not counting Legendary Years of course, as it only contains re-recordings of older songs). Having said that, the band also know where their classic material and hits are from, and thus the show was front loaded with new material, and the encore consisted solely of Fabio Lione era tracks, ending on the ever welcome Emerald Sword. One of the loudest responses came much earlier however, when they played Unholy Warcry as the fourth song of the evening.

Setlist aside, Rhapsody Of Fire truly kicked off the party of the day. The previous two bands, Iron Fire and Dragonland, had done what they could, but now we were really seeing a crowd and a band worthy of the name. From the band’s side, much of this rested on the shoulders of Voli, and he was a consummate frontman, expertly leading the crowd along. The number of times he called out “Scream for me!” are, well, innumerable, but it was also effective! People were shouting, and when possible singing, along to their heart’s desires. The atmosphere was positive and light, and most important of all, fun.
The band was active on stage, so much so that Voli at one point had a person in the crowd hold the mic for him, so that he could wave both his arms about as he sang. In the same song, he was handed a mobile from someone else in the crowd, and filmed the band and crowd from the stage for a while, before handing it back. As I mentioned, there was a good, familiar rapport between band and fans, which was a delight to see.

As you can gather, the crowd was heavily involved with the show. On their own, they started up a Rhapsody chant, which was positively received by the band, but to change things up a bit, Voli elaborated and expanded on it, and gave it back to the fans to play with.
He even managed to instigate a small wall of death for Dawn Of Victory; not small because of lacking interest, but because the packed room didn’t have much space to facilitate it.

In my mind, there was no doubt Rhapsody Of Fire delivered the goods, and the best show of the day. I may not be 100% on board with the music, but the show was on fire (pun intended). They didn’t beat Blind Guardian from the night before, but they easily took a highly respectable and unapproached second place at Epic Fest.


Tale Of A Hero’s Fate (snippet)
I’ll Be Your Hero
Chains Of Destiny
The Legend Goes On
Unholy Warcry
March Against The Tyrant
A New Saga Begins
Son Of Vengeance
Master Of Peace
Rain Of Fury
Un’ode Per L’eroe
Dawn Of Victory
Reign Of Terror
Wisdom Of The Kings
Emerald Sword

Rhapsody Of Fire

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